Chand’s son to be freed ‘soon’

Dhangadhi, November 4:

The CPN-Maoists have said they would release Arun Chand, son of former Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand by Sunday, Bir Bahadur Budha, acting chief of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Nepalgunj regional office, today quoted the Maoists as saying.

The Maoists had abducted Chand, the executive director of the Basuling Sugar Mills, on October 27.

“The CPN-Maoist area-in-charge Lal Dip informed that the the party’s district committee has decided to set Arun Chand free unharmed by Sunday,” Budha, who met Arun Chand at Chuha in Kailali, in Maoist captivity yesterday, said. Budha said Chand was safe and that the Maoists had not misbehaved with him. The Maoists have decided to release Chand soon, another human rights activist, Khadga Raj Joshi, a representative of the Informal Sector Service centre (INSEC), quoting Maoist Kailali district in charge Atom, said.

Dambar Awasthi, manager of the Basuling Sugar Mills, however, said though the NHRC representatives have assured of Chand’s release, his condition is still unclear. It is learnt that the Maoists had abducted Chand in connection with the money he owes to the local sugarcane farmers.

Meanwhile, a report from Kathmandu said the acting general secretary of the CPN-UML, Bamdev Gautam, in a press statement today asked the Maoists to immediately and unconditionally release Arun Chand, the son of former prime minister Lokendra Bahadur Chand.

“It is sad to note that the Maoists have resorted to abduction of civilians despite their commitment that they will not act thus during their three-month period of unilateral ceasefire,” said the statement, which also asked the Maoists to cease such acts and create cordial relations with the parties.

Also today Gautam condemned the Maoists for shooting Laxmi Lal Pode of Nala, Kavre district, on Monday on the occasion of Dipawali. Gautam said the Maoists committed a heinous crime even during the unilateral ceasefire that they had announced for three months, keeping in mind the major festivals.

Maoists also abducted Shiva Hari Karki of Hetauda, Makwanpur, and also seized his petrol tanker on Monday night and severely beat up Shambhu Gyawali of Gulmi district after abducting him from his house. Gautam also asked the Maoists to immediately stop such acts and respect the citizens’ right to life.